Horta hunters

What was the most interesting in Greece for a nature-lover and cook with pharmaceutical diploma and an affinity for herbs? Horta! It’s a a catch-all phrase that encompasses all kinds of edible greens that can be gathered in the fields, mountains and the vegetable garden and aren’t considered cultivated vegetables. In Poland, this mostly forgotten topic is becoming very popular again and even right before we left I taught some curious folks how to eat nettle, yarrow, goosefoot or daisies. Greece, as it turns out, has a … Read more Horta hunters

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Crete out of season

Polish winter always finds a way to get to us, and sooner or later we would find ourselves scheming to get some sunshine. We rarely had the time, or more importantly money, to go somewhere far and at the same time didn’t feel like spending time at a Tunisian hotel or something. The solution then was the easyjets or ryanairs that for a dime and a half would drop us off in central or southern Italy, Morocco, Spain or Cyprus. Even in February, and even … Read more Crete out of season

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The gorges of Crete – escaping the crowds

Crete isn’t only beaches and port-towns, there’s also a crazy geological history and terrain that’s covered with impassable mountains and deep, snaking valleys. Tectonic activity, weathering, or the breaking of rocks and erosion caused by water, provide tourists with attractions such as dozens of impressive gorges. The most famous, biggest in Europe Samaria gorge is traversed from hundreds to thousands of people daily. I don’t know about you, but just thinking about such crowds makes me a bit dizzy. The logistic challenge of organizing the return from … Read more The gorges of Crete – escaping the crowds

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The favorite beach on Crete

I’ve always imagined Crete to be loaded with hotels and clubs, the beaches covered by sunbeds and stands with kitschy souvenirs. Only after another enthusiastic opinion coming from Greeks we met along our way, something clicked and we decided to spent the winter months there. Though it’s true that the island gets swarmed by tourists every year and it’s almost impossible to find an empty paradise beach during the season, the majority of holiday-makers prefers to congregate around only certain areas of any given country, … Read more The favorite beach on Crete

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Cretan Delight – Snails with Rosemary and Red Wine Vinegar

If you want to try traditional Cretan food, snails will be on the menu. When the weather’s cool and wet, they can be found everywhere. We saw them every day, not only on our eco-lettuce and cabbage: there’s usually a few, at any given time, that are crawling out of the compost bin or the fridge, while others are hibernating in dark corners of kitchen cabinets and in the nooks and crannys of furniture. They’re chilling on the apricot trees or relaxing on buckets at the stable. … Read more Cretan Delight – Snails with Rosemary and Red Wine Vinegar

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On how we celebrated Greek Easter

Greek dishes are often plant-based and very varied, but come Easter, the most important celebration of the year, the exact opposite becomes true. The Easter menu boils (or, in fact, roasts) down to one thing only: meat. The schools close for two weeks around the holiday period and families begin preparing the house and the animals for the feast. Our hosts planned to slaughter three sheep — we had known them since coming here. We weren’t entirely thrilled with the idea but at the same time … Read more On how we celebrated Greek Easter

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Mulberry shake

The citrus season on Crete is slowly coming to an end. Now it’s time for despola (loquat) and mulberries. The only previous encounter we had with mulberries happened in Vang Vieng in Laos. There, they were one of the tourist attractions, a humble one, overshadowed by tubing on the river with buckets of booze and drugs to boot. When you’re done stuffing them fresh into your mouth, try making a mulberry shake with what’s left. It’s dead easy, if only you have a mulberry tree, a … Read more Mulberry shake

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Greek Lent, or when moussaka and tzatziki are a no-no

Isn’t it interesting how humanity introduces limitations or bans and then immediately gives in to its hedonistic nature and breaks them, finds a way around them or submits to the cravings as soon as the ban is over? Religious fasts seem to me good examples of this. In Turkey, during the Ramadan, we watched in fascination scores of people sitting at laden tables waiting with anticipation for the signal that the sun had set down and then, as if the starting gun had gone off, … Read more Greek Lent, or when moussaka and tzatziki are a no-no

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When good people dream

We are cycling to the south of Crete to visit Joanna and Prodromos, a couple we’ve met through the local farmers’ co-op. First twenty-five kilometers or so are a slow climb higher and higher. Later we’ll enjoy an amazing downhill ride in the three dimensional landscape of layers upon layers of hills, with valleys in between. Somewhere along the way, after crossing the magic border between the north and the south, with the passing time it gets more and more hot. When we reach the main … Read more When good people dream

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Citrus love

Some dream of riches, others of world domination. I am happy with moving from place to place with walks out of the house to pick something edible in between. Preferably my beloved fruit. A quick trip to the garden to obtain some oranges straight from the tree is my idea of paradise. So, in the paradise we are. Since December, our main staple when it comes to fruit is oranges. We still haven’t had enough! We are also surprised how long the season is – even now in … Read more Citrus love

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